EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
The aim of this policy is to communicate our commitment to promoting equality of opportunity in providing any and all of our training products and services.
- Scope of Policy
This policy applies to:
- All learners who apply for training.
- All training events or activities.
- All resource and support opportunities that we offer.
- All staff who are employed or contracted to work with or for us.
- Equality Commitments
We are committed to:
- Taking positive action to promote equality of opportunity for all persons.
- Preventing unlawful occurrences of direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
- Promoting a harmonious working and training environment where all people are treated with respect and helped to achieve their full potential.
- Taking positive action, where necessary, to adhere to our Equal Opportunities Policy.
We accept responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy. In order to implement the policy, we shall:
- Ensure that training course places are allocated solely on the individual merits of the learner’s suitability for the course.
- Not discriminate or treat any individual unfairly on grounds of gender, race, disability, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation or social background.
- Aim to make reasonable arrangements to enable individuals with individual needs and/or disabilities to access the training on the same grounds as all other applicants.
- Provide a consistent variety of teaching and learning methods and resources to cater for the diverse needs and backgrounds of the learners.
- Review the training and assessment processes diligently to measure the effectiveness of the learning methods, training materials and assessment process in meeting the diverse needs of the learners.
- Expect all staff to make a positive contribution towards maintaining an environment of equal opportunity throughout the organisation.
- Provide individual support to individuals who have identified specific learning requirements or require additional support if possible.
- Ensure that staff take part in training and personal development to enable them to confidently and competently meet our Equal Opportunities Policy and maximise the learning and achievement of the learners.
- Equality in Recruitment
- Jobs will be open equally to all eligible candidates, and appointments will only be dependent upon an applicant’s ability to perform the job role to the standard required.
- The necessary skills, experience and qualities for the position will be set in advance for the job and will be demonstrably measurable.
- Applicants will be made aware of the criteria in advance and this alone will be used as a basis for selection.
- Recruitment procedures will be fair, open and transparent.
- The recruitment and selection team will be expected to operate within our Equal Opportunities Policy and practices to reduce the possibility of discrimination.
- Any learner who believes that they have not been treated fairly, and in accordance with this policy, is entitled to raise their concerns by following our Complaints Procedure.
- Any complaints of discrimination will be dealt with fairly, promptly and confidentially.
- We reserve the right to change our Equal Opportunities Policy without prior notice. This policy is kept under review and subject to change in line with changes and amendments to law and any events that require the policy is updated.
HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY
Tutors, learners and others who attend our training are expected to take responsibility for their own safety and that of other people.
The tutors, management and staff must ensure that the training takes place in a safe working environment, without risk of accident and the subsequent pain and suffering which could result. To meet these ends you must carry out your duties in a safe and responsible manner within an overall framework of safe working practices.
General policy statement
We recognise our responsibility and are fully committed to do all in our power to protect the safety, health and welfare of staff, learners and others.
We aim to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, safe premises, equipment and systems of work without risk to health. We recognise the importance of safety and efficiency in prevention of accidents and injuries and will make health and safety a priority.
- To comply with existing statutory and legislative requirements regarding the safety, health and welfare of tutors, learners and relevant others to whom we have legal responsibilities.
- To provide equipment that is safe and without risk to health.
- To provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety of tutors, learners and relevant others.
- To maintain the training environment in a condition that is safe and without risks to health (including safe means of access and egress to and from the places of work).
- To provide and maintain a working environment which is safe and without risks to health, including appropriate facilities and arrangements for the welfare of employees.
- To identify and work for the elimination or control of hazards.
Organisation and arrangements for health & safety
Everyone has responsibility for health and safety. Any employee must report any failures of policy, hazards or dangerous events to the Managing Director. Tutors, assessors, learners and others have a duty to act responsibly and not to put themselves or others at risk by their acts or omissions. Where relevant, any unsafe conditions must be reported to the Head of Operations. Tutors, assessors and learners must use all control measures and follow safe systems of work and keep the training area clean and tidy.
Health and safety conditions
- Adequate arrangements will be made to provide the correct levels of temperature, lighting, ventilation and noise for health and safety.
- Should this not be possible, then an alternative venue or solution will be sought to protect the individual concerned.
- Safe Systems of Work
- It is the duty of the Lead Tutor to create and then maintain safe working practices.
- Where specific safety rules apply, for example: in using a new piece of equipment, these must be stated and shared with all relevant parties.
- Housekeeping and Hygiene
- A clean and tidy training space is required to ensure that safety objectives are achieved.
- All team members are required to tidy and clear in the course of the training to prevent accidents and incidents and keep the areas clean and hygienic.
- Slips and Falls
- Most serious accidents originate from people slipping, tripping or falling so particular care must be taken to be alert to potential hazards such as water on the floor, trailing cables and obtrusive equipment.
- People running or hurrying increase the risk of slips, trips and falls so special care should be taken when there are obvious hazards, conditions change or people are tired or distracted.
- Everyone is required to more around the workspace diligently and with concern for their own and other’s safety.
- Training and Competency
- The training team will be suitably competent and capable in terms of health and safety for the tasks that they are responsible for.
- Specific training will be provided where required and as identified by Risk Assessment.
- Fire extinguishers will be provided around the premises and are marked “FIRE POINT”
- Fire escape routes and exits are to be clearly marked with ‘FIRE EXIT’ signs
- A fire alarm system (siren) operates with a break glass operation situated at the marked ‘FIREPOINT’
- If a person discovers a fire, the alarm should be activated. Anyone who are not trained should not tackle a fire but proceed safely to the assembly point via the escape routes.
- No unauthorised person is to interfere with any fire safety arrangements.
- Everyone is responsible for keeping fire routes and exits free from obstruction and abide by the notices explaining the fire arrangements.
- Smoking is forbidden in the building.
- Any fault or defect in a piece of equipment or controls must be notified immediately to the Lead Tutor.
- The machine/equipment must not be used until it has been repaired and safe to use again.
- As instructed by the tutor, only suitably trained individuals are permitted to use equipment and this should only occur when they have been trained to do so and when supervision and instruction will be provided.
Guidelines to Health and Safety
Below is a list of some basic guidelines for all to follow:
- Keep workplace clean and tidy etc. to prevent slips, trips and falls
- Always use equipment correctly as per the instructions
- Follow the safety procedures and rules from the Risk Assessment and ask if you are ever uncertain
- Never interfere with equipment, electricity or any safety feature
- No smoking
- Report any defects or damage to any part of the premises or equipment
- Do not put yourself or others at risk and this includes horseplay or misuse of equipment.
MALPRACTICE AND MALADMINISTRATION POLICY
In line with the Conditions of Recognition set out by the regulator of qualifications in England (Ofqual), the regulator of qualifications in Wales (Qualification Wales) and the regulator of qualifications in Northern Ireland (CCEA Regulation), PD:Education at all times maintains and implements a robust malpractice and maladministration policy with respect to our own operations.
- Definition of malpractice and maladministration
Malpractice is defined as any deliberate activity or practice that is illegal and/or compromises:
- the integrity of the assessment process
- the integrity of regulation of qualifications
- the validity of certificates
- the reputation or credibility of the awarding organisation
- the qualification, or the wider education or respective industry sector
Maladministration is any activity or practice that results in the centre failing to comply with the specified requirements for delivery of PD:Education qualifications and components.
- PD:Educations’ approach to preventing malpractice and maladministration in our operations and activities
In the design, delivery and award of PD:Education qualifications, we take steps to reduce the risk of incidents of malpractice or maladministration occurring, these steps include:
- Making sure that individuals involved in the development, delivery and award of our qualifications understand our requirements regarding correct practice, the mechanisms for mitigating malpractice and maladministration and the responsibility to raise concerns (this includes our external quality assurance strategy and approvals processes).
- Taking reasonable steps to ensure that current (and former) PD:Education staff and third parties do not provide information about our qualifications which is inaccurate or misleading.
- Adhering to our own policies, practices and procedures that reduce the risk of malpractice and maladministration.
- Investigating allegations for which there are reasonable grounds to believe that malpractice or maladministration has occurred within PD:Education, in accordance with our standardised investigation policy and procedure.
- Correcting any issues that arise from an incident of malpractice or maladministration, where it is our responsibility to do so.
- Notifying relevant parties, including the qualifications regulators.
- Advise learners of the PD:Education’s policy on malpractice and maladministration during learner induction.
- Be vigilant to possible instances of malpractice and maladministration.
- Notify our accrediting body of any incidents or allegations of malpractice or maladministration as soon as reasonably possible.
- Assist with any requests for information from our awarding organisation.
- Cooperate with our awarding organisation’s malpractice and maladministration investigations.
- Carry out investigations of malpractice under the guidance of our awarding organisation.
- Implement any actions required during and after investigation into a case of malpractice, including those identified by our awarding organisation and/or any other appropriate authority.
- Preventing and dealing with learner or staff malpractice and maladministration
Examples of learner malpractice may include:
- misconduct during an assessment (i.e. where the learner has contravened the rules of the assessment) such as:
- one learner copying answers from another learner (both learners may be at fault if this copying is carried out with the knowledge of the learner whose work is being copied)
- a learner using a mobile phone or other prohibited device during an external assessment (for example, to seek answers to questions in the test)
- two or more learners jointly completing an assessment without being authorized to do so.
- a learner applying for a reasonable adjustment or special consideration for an external assessment without legitimate reason
- a learner presenting a fraudulent certificate in order to evidence prior achievement or to claim an exemption.
Examples of centre malpractice / maladministration may include:
- failure to apply invigilation procedures for external assessment
- failure to ensure that external assessment materials are stored securely and are not accessed by learners or unauthorised staff
- failure to apply procedures for internal assessment (including accurate record keeping in the form of summary records of achievement for each learner and documented internal quality assurance planning and standardisation activity)
- failure to report any suspected malpractice to our awarding organisation
- application of a reasonable adjustment or special consideration without an appropriate rationale
- delivery and/or assessment of qualifications or components (units) that the centre has not been approved by us to deliver
- delivery and/or assessment of qualifications by staff who are not qualified to carry out the role, as stipulated in the respective qualification specification and without seeking prior approval for the staff member involved in delivery or assessment
- claims for certification being submitted for learners that have not been registered with our awarding organisation
- issuing learners registered on our awarding organisation’s qualifications with a centre certificate only and not submitting a claim for an awarding organisation certificate
- breaching the requirements of Direct Claims Status (for example, failing to retain learner assessment evidence until after external quality assurance activity has been completed)
- copying of (or other tampering with) external assessment materials
- a significant change in control of PD:Education which has not been disclosed to our awarding organisation.
Whether an incident is determined to be malpractice or maladministration will depend on a number of features which may include the intent of the party responsible for the incident, the severity of the issue and/or severity of the outcomes.
Carrying out investigations
During an investigation, PD:Education will ensure that:
- Investigations will be undertaken by persons of appropriate competence who have no personal interest in the outcome of the investigation.
- Robust procedures outlining how cases of maladministration or malpractice will be investigated are in place and staff are informed of these processes and receive appropriate training on them.
- Evidence relating to investigations is kept securely and is sufficiently detailed to support conclusions.
- Information regarding investigation progress and findings is shared with our awarding organisation, including adhering to any timescales we outline.
- A written report is compiled at the conclusion of the investigation and made available to our awarding organisation.
The objective of an investigation is to establish the facts relating to an allegation of malpractice and maladministration in order to determine whether any irregularities have occurred and whether corrective actions are required. To establish the facts of the incident, PD:Education may need to carry out interviews with their staff or students, take written statements and/or review written material. Evidence gathered through any of these means (and others) should be kept securely and disclosed only to relevant parties within PD:Education.
During an investigation, PD:Education will consider whether immediate corrective actions and/or steps to mitigate reoccurrence of the type of malpractice or maladministration should be implemented immediately, rather than wait for the investigation to be concluded.
PD:Education will actively seek to identify lessons learnt when carrying out their own investigations, even in cases where the allegation is not proven; for example, it may be that the allegation resulted from weaknesses in the centre’s processes or procedures.
- Confidentiality and whistle blowing
Any person who makes an allegation of malpractice or maladministration and wishes to remain anonymous may request this, however, typically we will ask individuals to disclose their identity and contact details to us.
In situations where we have received an allegation from an anonymous source, we will seek to judge the credibility of the allegation by carrying out initial investigation before taking up the matter more formally.
Wherever possible, PD:Education will not divulge the identity of individuals if there are concerns about consequences for the individual. If legal reasons require us to disclose the source of an allegation to another party we will be bound by those reasons and therefore cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. Situations in which we cannot assure confidentiality for a whistle-blower include requests for disclosure from:
- the police, fraud prevention agencies or other law enforcement agencies
- the courts (in connection with court proceedings)
- other third parties which have statutory regulatory powers over us (specifically, the regulators Ofqual, CCEA Regulation and Qualification Wales).
REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS POLICY
As part of our Equal Opportunities Policy, we are committed to providing access and individual learning support to learners by making reasonable adjustments whenever possible.
We endeavour to uphold human rights relating to race relations, disability discrimination and any special educational needs of our learners, and to provide equable reasonable adjustments and special considerations for all learners on our programmes. We expect learners to have fair access to training and assessment.
We recognise that reasonable adjustments or special considerations may be required at the time of assessment where:
- learners have a permanent disability or specific learning needs
- learners have a temporary disability, medical condition or learning needs
- learners are indisposed at the time of the assessment
We aim to make suitable provision for reasonable adjustments and special consideration arrangements to ensure that learners receive recognition of their achievement so long as the equity, validity and reliability of the assessments can be assured.
Reasonable adjustments are to be communicated, approved and set in place before the assessment takes place. The use of a reasonable adjustment will not be taken into consideration during the assessment of a learner’s work.
Additional learners’ needs support procedure
We recognise that learners who apply and attend our training programmes will have differing and variable needs. In support of our Equal Opportunities Policy, we intend to accommodate learner’s individual needs, wherever possible.
To enable us to identify any specific learning needs, agree appropriate adjustments and support and evaluate the effectiveness of our provision, we will include the following procedures:
- Learner Application Form – ask if they have any individual learning needs or physical needs that may necessitate adjustments or additions to the training programme.
- During the Training Programme – observe and discuss with learners any changes or adjustments that may be necessary to enable them to have equal access to the training programme.
- Learner Evaluation Form – request written and verbal evaluation from the learner to enable us to assess the extent to which we are able to satisfactorily accommodate the learner’s individual needs.
Possible reasonable adjustments that will be considered to meet individual learner needs:
Prior to the training:
- Provide resources in advance of the training.
- Provide resources in alternative format (e.g. audio material or large print).
- Adapt assessment materials, for example providing materials in Braille.
- Discuss and agree an Action Plan with the student for best learning methods. Provide tour of the venue before the start the training.
- Meet or communicate with the learner to agree any support needed.
- Provide access to e-learning as well as face-to-face training.
- Provide hearing loops (if applicable).
- Provide extra tutor support time when appropriate.
- Provide access to suitable equipment and environment to meet needs.
During assessment (if applicable):
- Provide a reader for written assessments.
- Provide a scribe for written assessments.
- Provide extra time for assessments.
- Provide extra breaks during assessment.
- Defer assessments to enable more preparation time.